The fundraising appeal to bring eye surgery to the Friarage Hospital has seen a flood of donations as the community gets behind the campaign.

The Friends of the Friarage charity is trying to raise £200,000 buy high-tech equipment for vireo-retinal (VR) surgery for the new surgical hub at the Northallerton hospital.

A large number of recent collections, fundraising events and donations has pushed the appeal past the £25,000 mark, with the total now just shy of £30,000.

Darlington and Stockton Times: School Council Members along with FOTF Trustee Lyn Proud, TA Stephanie Beckwith, retired teacher of 40 years at Broomfield, Audrey Smith and Deputy Headteacher Dave Simpson

A spokesperson for the Friends of the Friarage said Broomfield School in Northallerton held an Easter bake sale and raffle, raising £548, while Carlton Stores in Carlton Miniott, near Thirsk, held a traditional Easter cake raffle, raising £202.

Darlington and Stockton Times: Carri Ramsbottom FOTF and Catherine Grainger from Carlton Stores

Northallerton Soroptomists donated the remaining £610 of their funds at their recent farewell lunch, and the residents of Arden Court in Northallerton held a coffee morning, raising £150.

Darlington and Stockton Times: FOTF trustee Kerry Nelson (left) and FOTF admin staff Sarah Norman (right) with the Soroptomist members and former co-president of the Northallerton branch, Donna Jermyn (in front of banner).

A sum of £1,108.98 has been donated by Crash Bang Wallop theatre company, which held a post-show collection after the production of Les Miserables at The Forum in memory of choreographer, Emma’s dad, Terry Richardson.

Darlington and Stockton Times: Sophie Hilton, Holly Hilton and Megan McLafferty plus members of Terry's family; Ann Richardson, CBW Choreographer Emma Greenhalgh, Anthea Richardson-Owens and CBW Member Oliver Greenhalgh and Friends of the Friarage Co-chairs, Susan Watson and Tony

"A huge thank you also goes to everyone who has made a donation or helped out in some way," added the spokesperson.

At present, people from Hambleton and Richmondshire have to travel to James Cook University in Middlesbrough for eye surgery, and the Friends of the Friarage and hospital bosses believe cutting down journey times will make a significant difference to patients' wellbeing.

The charity is now encouraging even more people and organisations to support the appeal

“We are overwhelmed by how quickly local businesses and individuals have come together to support our appeal and put on a fundraising event," said the spokesperson. "In just over the two months since the Eye Appeal was launched we have seen an incredible response and we are truly grateful.”

The next event to be held for the appeal is an awareness day in Trinity Square, Richmond on Saturday, May 11. Along with the Macular Society, members of the Friends of the Friarage will be available to talk to about how they are supporting the residents of Hambleton and Richmondshire with visual impairment and their plans for the future.

They will be in the square between 9am and 1pm. More information is also available at